The BBC is rightly in crisis over its handling of the Jimmy Savile case. But the mix of some journalists loving taking pot-shots at the BBC and the BBC’s own love of reporting itself (did you see the Newsnight piece on the Panorama episode about the Newsnight story?) means the BBC’s troubles has been over-shadowing the role of others.
The police, in particular.
One police force we now know investigate Jimmy Savile and their work at least got as far as serious consideration of whether or not there was enough evidence to go to court.
Yet even that was after decades of Savile’s career which, we now know, were littered with accusations and half-hearted enquiries by others. What was the police doing in all that time? When even a few journalists and work colleagues were asking him to his face about widespread rumours, did the police never have good enough grounds for an effective investigation? Perhaps not, or perhaps – as seems more likely given the huge volume of allegations now surfacing – the police messed up badly, repeatedly and for decades?
The latest news suggests the latter:
At least seven alleged victims of Jimmy Savile made complaints of sexual assault against him to police while the TV presenter was still alive, according to the Scotland Yard team investigating the abuse scandal.
The BBC once failing to run a story is one thing. The police seven times failing to investigate effectively would be a far bigger scandal. They need to be put just as firmly on the spot as the BBC’s management.